Sport, parks and leisure - PROVE IT. ukactive challenges government to provide the evidence it uses to justify gym closures during local lockdowns...
21 Sep 2020 Sport, parks, & leisure: daily news and jobs
 
 
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07 Aug 2020

PROVE IT. ukactive challenges government to provide the evidence it uses to justify gym closures during local lockdowns
BY Tom Walker

Gyms, fitness studios, sports courts and swimming pools in the city of Bradford were forced to close their doors on 1 August

Gyms, fitness studios, sports courts and swimming pools in the city of Bradford were forced to close their doors on 1 August
photo: Shutterstock.com/StrDr stock

Industry body, ukactive, has questioned the decision to close gyms and health clubs as part of some localised lockdowns.

Indoor gyms, fitness studios, sports courts and swimming pools in the city of Bradford were forced to close their doors on 1 August, following an outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) in parts of West Yorkshire, Greater Manchester and East Lancashire.

While indoor leisure facilities closed their doors Bradford, other areas in which local lockdowns were issued are able to stay open – including nearby Calderdale and Kirklees.

Ukactive challenged the government to provide the evidence on which it relies when making decisions whether to include gyms and sports facilities in the lockdowns.

"We have the utmost respect for the work the respective national governments and local authorities are undertaking to continue the fight against COVID-19 and contain this virus," ukactive said.

"Unfortunately, the fitness and leisure sector is now the victim of recent decision making at both national and local government level that seems to be based neither on scientific evidence, nor factual accuracy.

"This is regrettably leading to delays in reopening facilities and also returns to closure in localised areas, threatening business failure and job losses.

"The health and safety protocols for the sector have been approved by the leading health authorities in the land, including the Chief Medical Officer, the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, Public Health England, and the UK Government.

"Furthermore, there is a growing evidence base from across mainland Europe of the success of the health and safety protocols within gyms, reflected in the UK Guidance, that has allowed millions to use these facilities in a safe way over the past few months, improving their health, wellbeing and resilience against COVID-19.

"We urge all decision-makers at both national and local government level to make decisions impacting the fitness and leisure sector on both the scientific evidence and operational guidance available.

"There is a growing mistrust in the decisions being made that impact the future of the sector. ukactive will support that decision-making process as required and have the experts on hand to support Government when making these.

"This sector is vital to our nation’s future health, and it should be supported and encouraged to play its full role in combatting COVID-19."

Gym owners and operators in Bradford have slammed the decision to include gyms in the lockdowns – with some voicing their dissatisfaction to the BBC in a news report..



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